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Ibuprofen – uses, health risks, and side effects at

Wednesday, September 05, 2018 by

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which works by decreasing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. This drug is used to treat fever, relieve pain, or reduce inflammation caused by many conditions, such as a headache, toothache, back pain, arthritis, menstrual cramps, or minor injury. Ibuprofen is used in adults and children who are six months and older.

Ibuprofen should not be taken by the following people:

  • Those who are about to or just had a heart bypass surgery
  • Those allergic to ibuprofen
  • Those who had an asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID
  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding women

Ibuprofen is sold under the brand names Advil, Motrin, and Ibuprin. Advil and Motrin can be bought over-the-counter (OTC) in 200-milligram (mg) tablets, while higher doses need a prescription. These drugs are sold in tablet and capsule forms. Ibuprofen is also found in combination with other drugs sold OTC for coughing, cold, and migraine. In some cases, it may also be given in liquid form through the veins.

Known side effects of ibuprofen

The common side effects of ibuprofen include the following:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Gas or bloating
  • Nervousness
  • Ringing in the ears

Ibuprofen can also cause serious side effects that may need immediate medical attention. These include:

  • Aggression
  • Back pain
  • Blisters
  • Blurred vision, changes in color vision, or other vision problems
  • Cloudy, discolored, or bloody urine
  • Confusion
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Headache
  • Hives
  • Hoarseness
  • Itching
  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • Pale skin
  • Rash
  • Red or painful eyes
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Stiff neck
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Swelling of the abdomen, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, throat, arms, or hands

Ibuprofen can also increase the risk of heart disease and has been associated with heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots — all of which are life-threatening. It can also damage the lining of the stomach, which increases the risk of stomach ulcers and heartburn.

Body systems that may be harmed by ibuprofen

The body systems harmed by ibuprofen include the digestive, cardiovascular, nervous, renal, hematologic, dermatologic, metabolic, and respiratory systems.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent ibuprofen’s side effects

The following food items may prevent heart disease, one of the serious side effects of ibuprofen:

  • Avocado
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Citrus fruits
  • Coffee
  • Dark chocolate
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel
  • Flax seeds
  • Green tea
  • Kale
  • Legumes such as beans, lentils, and peas
  • Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, and macadamia nuts
  • Oatmeal
  • Pomegranate
  • Potatoes
  • Red wine
  • Soy
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

Treatments, management plans for the ibuprofen’s side effects

Stomach ulcer, a possible side effect of ibuprofen, can be treated through a healthy diet, such as eating cruciferous vegetables, turmeric, raw honey, or garlic, and using natural remedies like licorice root, aloe vera, and probiotics.

Where to learn more


Ibuprofen is an NSAID used to treat fever, relieve pain, or reduce inflammation.

Ibuprofen commonly causes constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, gas, nervousness, and ringing in the ears.

Ibuprofen use can also result in heart problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots, and digestive problems like stomach ulcers and heartburn.

Sources include: 1 2


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